When I first saw this building I honestly had no idea what it was for. Interestingly enough, the Detroit Observatory was built in 1854 and was the first observatory to be established in Michigan and third in the nation. It is also the first official research facility ever built by the University of Michigan! The Observatory is located at the corner of Observatory and Ann right between the Hill and Medical campuses and is home to many operational astronomical instruments, including a 6-inch Pistor, a Martins meridian circle, and the 12 5/8- inch Henry Fitz, Jr. refracting telescope. A fun fact is that the dome can be turned manually by pulling on a rope. The Observatory opens for tours only twice a month unless special arrangements are made. This is definitely a gem worth checking out - not only is it fascinating, but it is a cool piece of history on our campus!
For a complete listing of dates and times the observatory is open, special events, and any additional information, visit this website.